Learning about Paul Walker
By Idelle Kursman
Since I rarely ever go to the movies, I had never heard of Paul Walker, who starred in The Fast &
Furious franchise as well as other movies. The only celebrities I read about in the media are the ones
behaving abominably like Miley Cyrus, Kanye West and Charlie Sheen. Forty year-old Paul Walker was
killed in a car crash on Saturday, November 30th
. To give an example of his character, some years ago,
he walked into Bailey Banks and Biddle Jewelers in Santa Barbara, California. A sales associate in the
store at the time remembered him overhearing a soldier and his fiancée looking for an engagement ring.
They picked out a ring they liked but could not afford the cost-$10,000. Walker called the store’s
manager and told him to put the ring they had chosen on his account and to never tell the couple he
was the one who bought it for them.
In the last few days, I have also read stories about his work in philanthropy. In fact, on the day
he died, he had just attended a fundraiser for the victims of the recent typhoon in the Philippines. The
charity event was sponsored by Walker’s own organization, Reach Out Worldwide. He founded ROWW
in 2010 to provide relief for victims of natural disasters like typhoons, tornados and earthquakes. Two
years ago, his daughter Meadow, now 15, moved in with him. She had been living with her mother in
Hawaii and while Walker provided for her financially, he wasn’t physically there for her. Since she
started living with him, Walker had marveled to family and friends about the joys he had experienced
raising his daughter and spoke about his future plans for her. Before his untimely death, he wanted to
take a break from acting to spend more time with her. Bill Townsend, a friend of Walker’s, was quoted
as saying he had “dedicated so much of his life to helping disadvantaged kids and people in need.”
Jessica Alba, an actress who had worked with him, said “he was a lovely person-so sweet and
What a loss! I wish I had learned about him sooner. I wish I was able to read more stories about
caring human beings in the media, but their efforts often go unnoticed until they pass away. But I’d
rather be inspired about acts of kindness than constantly disgusted by reports of celebrities performing
provocatively enough on national television to make even liberal-minded adults embarrassed,
perpetually mouthing off to the press, or flaunting relationships with porn stars. Their dominance in the
media only fuels the public’s cynicism and dejection. From what I’ve read, Paul Walker was the type of
person who not only achieved great success in Hollywood but also helped other people, even strangers.
It was bittersweet to only find out about him after he was gone. RIP Paul Walker.